Dr. Carolyn Salomons portrait on campus

Dr. Carolyn Salomons

Assistant Professor, History
Area Chair, Social Sciences

Phone: (403) 254-3715
Email: carolyn.salomons@stmu.ca
Office: A209
PhD History, Johns Hopkins University
MA History, University of Alberta
MA English, Carleton University
BA English, Simon Fraser University

Specialization/research interests: Late medieval Spanish religious and cultural history; conversion and religious identity in the 15th and 16th century Spanish world; religious toleration in late medieval/early modern Europe.

I am originally from western Canada (Edmonton and Vancouver), but I have also lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Dawson City, and in such random places as Jochiwon, South Korea; Baltimore, Maryland; and Ávila, Spain.

I majored in English when I first attended university, and received both a BA and MA; After graduating, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted and I wandered off to spend some time teaching English and traveling in Asia.

In 2002, on a trip to Spain and Portugal, I visited Tomar, a small town north of Lisbon. While wandering through the streets, I came across a building identified as the oldest synagogue in Europe. Intrigued, I went in and over the course of a stumbling conversation with the elderly attendant (in French, Portuguese, and Spanish), I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about the history of the Iberian peninsula. Once I returned to Canada, I enrolled in the MA program in History at the University of Alberta, focusing on the religious history of early modern Spain. I went on to complete a PhD at the Johns Hopkins University.

My first book project is a microhistory of the city of Ávila in the late fifteenth century; a time of immense social and religious change due to the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, and the expulsion of the Jews. My work examines the impact of these events on the city, and the strategies employed by its residents to accommodate such momentous change.

In my second project, I plan to focus on the pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago — while exploring the meaning of the pilgrimage to fifteenth century Spanish Christians. I teach a wide range of classes here at St Mary’s, from the required History of Ideas courses, to surveys on medieval and early modern Europe, to more specialized upper level courses on Colonial Latin America, Medieval Spain, Tudor and Stuart Britain, and Medieval Women Mystics.

An examination of the meaning of toleration in the late medieval Castilian world; the historiography of Tomás de Torquemada, Inquisitor General of the Holy Office of the Inquisition from 1483-1498.
Paradoxical Toleration: Hernando de Talavera and interfaith relationships in early modern Castile. Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Vancouver, 2015.

“An impossible quid pro quo”: Representations of Tomás de Torquemada. Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, 46th Annual Meeting. Baltimore, 2015

A fazer un cuerpo monstruoso: Inter-religious Relations in Ávila and the Synod of 1481, Sixteenth Century Society Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2013.

“Por amor y por caridad”: The Conversion of Conversos into “la Masa Silenciosa”, Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, 43rd Annual Meeting, Tufts University, 2012.

“We would have the church”: The Conversion of Sacred Space in Medieval Spain, Codices and Communities: Material, Book and Print Culture and their Medieval and Early Modern Contexts, Medieval and Early Modern Institute, University of Alberta, 2008.
“What the Age Demanded: Power and Resistance in Pre-modern and Post-modern texts”, Present(ing) the Past: Knowledge, Power and the Practice of History and Classics, History and Classics Graduate Students Conference, University of Alberta, 2005

“‘Such designs as were righteous in themselves and resolutely conducted’: Isabel, history, and mythmaking”, in Mito e historia en la televisión y el cine español, ed. Christine Blackshaw, Valencia: Editorial Albartros, 2019

“A Church United in Itself: Hernando de Talavera and the Religious Culture of Fifteenth-Century Castile” The Catholic Historical Review, Volume 103, Number 4, Autumn 2017

“An impossible quid pro quo”: Representations of Tomás de Torquemada,” Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies: Vol. 41: Iss. 1, Article 1. https://asphs.net/article/an-impossible-quid-pro-quo-representations-of-tomas-de-torquemada/

“Hybrid Historiography: Pre- and Post-conquest Latin America and Perceptions of the Past” Past Imperfect, University of Alberta, 2006. https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/pi/index.php/pi/article/view/1546

“What the Age Demanded: Power and Resistance in Pre-modern and Post-modern Texts” Illumine, University of Victoria, 2006

Masculine Virtue in Early Modern Spain, Shifra Armon – Sixteenth Century Journal, forthcoming.